Lung Injury Outbreak Data

As of Monday, December 9, 2019, 115 cases of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI) have been reported in Utah. This number is lower than previously reported due to a change in how cases are now being counted. Only those individuals who were hospitalized as a result of their injury will be counted as official cases. This change is being implemented nationwide in order to avoid confusion among EVALI and seasonal influenza cases in outpatient settings.

The state has also reported one death associated with the outbreak. Seventy-six percent of cases have required hospitalization.

Case counts are updated every two weeks on Mondays. The next update will be posted Monday, December 23, 2019.

Given the evidence, vaping THC cartridges or “carts” is likely the driver of this outbreak of severe lung injury. The UDOH recommends people do not vape THC cartridges until we learn more.

Most Utah cases are in their 20s or 30s. The median age in Utah is 26, which is three years older than the current national median age of 23.

As of Oct. 28, 2019

Men account for 78% of the Utah cases while women account for 21% (the gender of some cases is unknown), which is similar to case demographics seen in other states.

As of Oct. 28, 2019

The majority of cases in Utah have symptom onset dates beginning in late July.

As of Oct. 28, 2019

Eighty-nine percent of cases self-reported vaping THC cartridges and 60% self-reported vaping nicotine. Many cases also report vaping both products.

Substance# of CasesPercentage
THC Cartridges92 of 10389%
Nicotine Catridges62 of 10360%
Both THC & nicotine51 of 10947%

Most THC products were acquired through friends, online, and in-person dealers. A small percentage of THC products were acquired at out-of-state dispensaries or purchased at vape shops in Utah. Nicotine products were acquired mostly at vape shops in Utah.

*Data in the above chart are current as of Oct. 15, 2019

The UDOH Utah Public Health Laboratory (UPHL) has been working with state and national laboratories to test products used by case patients. Thirty-nine samples were tested at the UPHL for several chemical compounds including illicit drugs (e.g., opioids, fentanyl, and methamphetamines), cutting agents, and biologic toxins. Of the 39 products tested by the UPHL, 19 were THC cartridges and 20 were nicotine e- juices. Almost all THC cartridges tested contained vitamin E acetate, a known cutting agent. In contrast, no nicotine products tested showed any unexpected compounds.

Vitamin E
THC Samples19100%5%89%
Nicotine Samples200%100%0%

*Data in the above table are current as of Oct. 15, 2019